Opening her movie on Christmas, the same day her ex-husband's film hits theaters, will be tough for Jennifer Aniston — but it would be much tougher promoting "Marley & Me" if Hollywood's most talked-about single woman didn't have a date.

In interviews for her upcoming flicks (she's also starring in "He's Just Not That Into You"), Aniston, 39, has been open about dating John Mayer, 31. But we hear she was also scouting other candidates during a lull in their relationship.

A few months ago, during a brief split between the duo, Aniston's camp was shopping for potential dates. "She didn't want to face the glare of being unattached while Brad Pitt toted Angelina Jolie around" on the promotional rounds for his release of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Aniston "did not want to be single when her movie opened," one source said. "A friend of her agent was calling around asking for young men whom they could set her up with." But the attempt to find a replacement for Mayer was aborted when he and Aniston soon got back together.

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